Local Scouts among 40,000 to attend National Boy Scout Jamboree


August 5, 2013


Saugahatchee District’s National Jamboree contingent on the final day of jamboree, pictured in front of the Consol Energy Suspension Bridge, which served as a gateway to much of the event’s activities: front row (L to R): Ted Wages, Patrick Hoff, Sangwoo Shim, and Christopher Heath; back row (L to R): Joel Moore, Jack McGowin, Phillip Barlow, Bert Schulingkamp, Grant Darling, Nate Levy, Isaac Hayes and, Jonathan Middleton
Saugahatchee District’s National Jamboree contingent on the final day of jamboree, pictured in front of the Consol Energy Suspension Bridge, which served as a gateway to much of the event’s activities: front row (L to R): Ted Wages, Patrick Hoff, Sangwoo Shim, and Christopher Heath; back row (L to R): Joel Moore, Jack McGowin, Phillip Barlow, Bert Schulingkamp, Grant Darling, Nate Levy, Isaac Hayes and, Jonathan Middleton

Ten Boy Scouts and two adult leaders from Lee County were among the 36-person contingent representing the local Chattahoochee Council at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, held July 15-24. Members of the Jamboree Troop A223 were among the approximately 40,000 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers, and staff from across the nation to experience the jamboree at its new home at the expansive new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The Summit will serve as the permanent home for the Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree, a celebration of Scouting held every four years.

 

Activities throughout the 10-day jamboree embodied the theme “Go Big.  Get Wild.” and featured dozens of Scout-oriented high-adventure programs that reinforced the BSA’s commitment to the physical wellness. These include more than six miles of zip line challenge courses, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, 13 acres of shooting sports, as well as kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, skateboarding, BMX, and various other activities.

 

Chris Heath, a Life Scout in Auburn’s Troop 354 and student at Auburn High School, had done zip-lining in the past, but nothing “as extreme” as the jamboree’s canopy tour composed of a network of more than 3,500 feet of zip lines.

 

“You couldn’t see where you would end up it was just a zip line going into the trees,” Heath said. “It gave you time to take in what you were passing by. It was really cool.”

 

Scouts also had opportunities to visit exhibits, attend stadium shows with entertainment, participate in service projects in the nine counties surrounding The Summit, and work on merit badges. No different than most outdoor and high-adventure Scouting activities, Scouts camped in tents, and prepared their own food all while honing existing and learning new Scout camping and outdoor skills.

 

“Living together, specifically camping together, for 10 days requires not only the ability to cook meals, wash dishes and clothes, and manage time effectively, but the willingness to be flexible and work as a team,” contingent scoutmaster Jonathan Middleton explained. “In addition to the camping aspect, our guys hiked anywhere from 35 to 65 miles while on site. Physical fitness was a key element required by all who attended.”

 

Since the first jamboree was held in 1937, it has become known as the BSA’s most iconic event, providing an opportunity for Scouts to gather together and celebrate Scouting, allowing Scouts from all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures to have experiences and create memories to last throughout their lifetimes. The previous eight jamborees dating back to 1981 were all held at Ft. A.P. Hill, near Bowing Green, Va.

 

Patrick Hoff, a Life Scout in Opelika’s Troop 356, said the chance to meet new people as well as to scuba dive for the first time made the three-day, two-night bus trek worth the drive. And, despite being a “national,” jamboree, the event often attracts Scouts from around the globe.

 

“I really enjoyed the experience of meeting new people from throughout the country,” he said “Our [troop] neighbors were Scouts from Puerto Rico, and we also heard several other languages like German and Italian spoken while we were there.”

 

The Summit is also home to the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base, the Boy Scouts of America’s fourth national high-adventure base. In addition to serving as the permanent home for the Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree, the Summit will host future world jamborees. The organization’s existing national high-adventure bases are Florida Sea Base in Islamorada, Fla.; Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.; and the Northern Tier in Ely, Minn.

 

An account and photos of the contingent’s jamboree experiences are available on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChattahoocheeJamboree2013.

 

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About the Boy Scouts of America: The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting  organization is composed of 2.6 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a  million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. The Saugahatchee District, which encompasses most of Lee County, Ala., is one of four districts comprising the Columbus, Ga.-based Chattahoochee Council. The district includes nearly 1,000 youth members and 250 volunteer leaders in 30 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venture crews.

 

Contingent:

§  Phillip Barlow, a Life Scout in Auburn’s Troop 15 and a student at Auburn Junior High School.

§  Grant Darling, a Life Scout in Auburn’s Troop 15 and a student at Auburn High School.

§  Isaac Hayes, a First Class Scout in Auburn’s Troop 29 and a student at Drake Middle School.

§  Christopher Heath, a Life Scout in Auburn’s Troop 354 and a student at Auburn High School.

§  Patrick Hoff, a Life Scout in Opelika’s Troop 356 and a student at Beauregard High School.

§  Nate Levy, a First Class Scout in Auburn’s Troop 29 and a student at Drake Middle School.

§  Jack McGowin, a Life Scout in Auburn’s Troop 29 and a student at Auburn Junior High School.

§  Bert Schulingkamp IV, an Eagle Scout of Auburn’s Troop 371 and recent graduate of Lee-Scott Academy who is now attending Troy University

§  Sangwoo Shim, a Star Scout in Auburn’s Troop 371 and a student at Auburn High School.

§  Ted Wages, a Star Scout in Auburn’s Troop 371 and a student at Auburn Junior High School.

§  Jonathan Middleton (contingent scoutmaster), scoutmaster of Auburn’s Troop 371 and both district and council Camping Committee chair

Joel Moore (contingent assistant scoutmaster), troop committee chair of Auburn’s Troop 371 and district committee chair for the Saugahatchee District